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Garcia On Mound For Sox Sunday In Critical Divisional Game

(Sports Network) -- Looking for his first win since late June, Armando Galarraga will toe the rubber this afternoon for Detroit as the Tigers battle the Chicago White Sox in the finale of a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.

Galarraga has dropped four of his last seven starts and has not won since June 24 against the New York Mets. The most recent loss for the right-hander came in his last outing on Monday, when the Tampa Bay Rays scored four runs on five hits in his five innings of work. Galarraga also walked four batters in the setback and finished with just one strikeout.

Pitching away from Comerica Park has been a huge problem for the 28-year-old, as he is just 1-2 with an atrocious 6.66 earned run average in five road starts this year.

Galarraga has also struggled against the White Sox in his career, having posted a 1-3 ledger in seven appearances. One of those setbacks came earlier this season, as Chicago punched in four runs against him in 7 2/3 innings. Galarraga surrendered eight hits and five walks in the August 4 loss.

The White Sox will hand the ball to Freddy Garcia, who has just one win in his last five starts. The last time the right-hander was on the hill he was pounded by Minnesota, allowing six runs on eight hits -- including three home runs -- in just 2 1/3 innings of work on Tuesday.

The crafty veteran is 5-3 in 10 starts at U.S. Cellular Field this season, but also has a so-so 4.53 earned run average.

Garcia is no stranger to the Tigers and will be making his 30th start against the division rival today. He has been impressive against Detroit in his career, posting an 18-6 mark with a 3.66 ERA. Garcia surrendered just one run is 6 2/3 innings against the Tigers on August 5, but despite the solid showing did not factor in his team's win.

The Tigers evened this series on Saturday, with Alex Avila's two-run homer in the ninth inning lifting Detroit to a 3-2 win.

Carlos Guillen added a solo homer for the Tigers, who have won two of three. Phil Coke (7-2) turned in 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win.

Juan Pierre and Omar Vizquel drove in a run each for the White Sox, who have dropped five of seven and slipped two games behind first-place Minnesota in the AL Central with the loss. The Twins bested Oakland, 2-0, on Saturday.

J.J. Putz (5-4) was saddled with the loss and a blown save after allowing Avila's game-deciding blast. He was called on to preserve a 2-1 edge for the Pale Hose in the ninth, but allowed a leadoff hit to Brandon Inge. Putz then fanned Ryan Raburn, but Avila put Detroit ahead for good when he golfed a two- run shot just over the wall in left-center for a 3-2 lead.

Coke, who recorded the final out in the eighth, yielded a two-out single to Alexei Ramirez in the ninth, but closed out the game by getting Gordon Beckham on a flyout to right.

The victory was only Detroit's third in 10 matchups with the White Sox this season.